Halftime Report: Eagles at Panthers

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By Matthew Ryan, Sports Talk Philly Contributor

The 1-3 Eagles visit the 3-1 Panthers in week five of the regular season. The Panthers are coming off their first loss of the season, whereas the Eagles have come up short in three straight games. The Eagles were outplayed in every aspect of the game, and penalties remain an issue as they were called for four, totaling 50 yards. Nick Sirianni’s squad goes into the half trailing 15-6 and will kick off to start the third quarter. Here's what we saw in the first 30 minutes of action:


First Half Offensive MVP

K Jake Elliott

This section could very well be left blank, but Elliott is deserving. The fifth-year kicker is responsible for all of the Eagles’ points thus far, making a 30-yard field goal early and a 58-yarder to close out the first half.


First Half Defensive MVP

CB Darius Slay Jr.

Slay was one of the bright spots for the Birds in an underwhelming first half. In the first quarter, Slay came up with his first interception of the season and returned it to the Carolina 10-yard line, resulting in a drive that led to an Eagles field goal.


Who Needs To Step Up

Eagles’ Offense

The Eagles' offense struggled in the first half, picking up just five first downs and 88 total yards. The Birds only ran the ball five times for 14 yards. The Eagles' defense has given the offense chances, most notably setting up a first-and-goal from Slay’s aforementioned interception, but Jalen Hurts and Co. have not been able to deliver.


Who To Watch Out For

RB Chuba Hubbard

In his second career start, Hubbard gashed the Eagles in the first 30 minutes, rushing for 57 yards on 13 carries, adding 19 receiving yards. The rookie broke lose in the first quarter for 26 yards in a drive that ended with the Panthers’ first touchdown of the game.


Halftime Report: Buccaneers at Eagles

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By Matthew Ryan, Sports Talk Philly Contributor

The 4-1 Buccaneers visit the 2-3 Eagles in week six of the regular season. The Birds are coming off a comeback win over the Panthers, while the Bucs demolished the Dolphins by four touchdowns last week. Tampa Bay outplayed Philadelphia throughout the first half and enter the break with a 21-7 lead. Here's what we saw in the first 30 minutes of action:


First Half Offensive MVP

WR Quez Watkins

Once again, the Eagles offense had a quiet first half, scoring just seven points. The only drive where the offense consistently moved the ball was their first, and Watkins’ impressive first-down catch on 3rd-and-12 kept it going. That 23-yard reception was Watkins’ only catch of the first half.


First Half Defensive MVP

S Anthony Harris

After being questionable to return, Harris came up with the biggest play of his Eagles career, notching his first interception with the Birds. Harris picked off Tom Brady late in the first half, but the Eagles couldn’t put up points on the ensuing drive.


Who Needs To Step Up

QB Jalen Hurts

Coming off of a big fourth-quarter where he led the Eagles to victory over the Panthers, Hurts’ first half looked more like the first three-quarters last week, which is not a good thing. Hurts missed some throws, notably multiple potential third-down conversions and an interception in the second quarter. Hurts finished the half just 5/14 for 54 yards with an interception and touchdown, adding 20 rushing yards. If the Eagles want to come away from this game with a .500 record, Hurts has to step his game up.


Who To Watch Out For

QB Tom Brady

In his second regular season game against the Eagles since they defeated his Patriots in Super Bowl 52, Brady had a solid first two quarters. Brady went 20/26 for 186 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. The seven-time Super Bowl champ led a Tampa Bay offense that was comfortable for most of the first half and scored 21 points.


Halftime Report: Eagles at Cowboys

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By Matthew Ryan, Sports Talk Philly Contributor

The Eagles (1-1) visit the Cowboys (1-1) in week three of the regular season. The rivalry game was dominated throughout the first half by the Cowboys who controlled both sides of the ball and lead, 20-7. Here's what we saw in the first 30 minutes of action:


First Half Offensive MVP

RB Miles Sanders

The first half for the Eagles went about as poor as possible. The Eagles only handed the ball off two times and one of those was a Sanders carry for 24 yards, one of only three first downs the Eagles picked up in the first two quarters.


First Half Defensive MVP

DT Javon Hargrave

Hargrave had a massive first half for the Birds. The second year Eagle got to Dallas quarterback Dak Prescott on the Cowboys’ second drive of the game, forcing a fumble that was recovered by Fletcher Cox in the end zone for a touchdown. Hargrave continued to make his presence felt, and got a key pressure on a 2nd-and-10 that led to a punt two plays later.


Who Needs To Step Up

Eagles Defense

Philly’s defense had an atrocious first half, giving up 261 total yards and 20 points. Prescott was 13/16 for 148 yards and a touchdown, and the Cowboys rushed for 118 yards, continuously feeding Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard (more on them below).


Who To Watch Out For

RBs Elliott and Pollard

The Cowboys running back duo of Elliott and Pollard torched the Eagles all throughout the first half. Elliott led the way for Dallas, rushing 11 times for 60 yards and two touchdowns, and Pollard pitched in 56 yards on 10 carries. Containing Elliott and Pollard in the second half is essential for the Birds to complete the comeback.


Halftime Report: Eagles at Falcons

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By Matt Ryan, Sports Talk Philly Contributor

The Eagles open up their season, and the Nick Sirianni era, in Atlanta where they take on the Falcons who finished last season with a 4-12 record. The Eagles enter the half with a 15-6 lead. Here's what we saw in the first 30 minutes of action:


First Half Offensive MVP

WR DeVonta Smith and QB Jalen Hurts

In his NFL debut, Smith starred in the first half, racking up 52 yards on five catches, and hurling in the Eagles first touchdown of the season: a 18-yard dime from Hurts. The wide receivers have struggled for the Eagles over the past couple years, but it seems like Smith has separated himself as the team's number one wideout this season. Hurts also shined in he first half, throwing for 169 yards, rushing for 37 yards and tossing two touchdowns.


First Half Defensive MVP

Eagles Red Zone Defense

The first two drives of the game saw the Falcons march right down the field, inside the Eagles 20-yard line. On both drives, the defense stopped the Falcons on goal-to-go situations and held them to field goals. If not for stellar play on D in a short field, this would be a much different ball game.


Who Needs To Step Up

Eagles Tackling

The Eagles didn’t give up any huge plays, but they did miss some tackles resulting in solid, drive-continuing gains. Jonathan Gannon’s defense needs to make their open-field tackles, or the Eagles could be in for a second half of big Falcons plays.


Who To Watch Out For

RB Cordarrelle Patterson

Patterson had a big first half for the Falcons, rushing for 54 yards and multiple first downs. Overall, the Falcons offense had a good first half but struggled to score touchdowns in the red zone. If the Eagles can slow down Patterson and continue their tight red zone defense, they should set themselves up for a week one victory.


Villanova Baseball Swept By Seton Hall In Weekend Series

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By Matthew Ryan, Sports Talk Philly Contributor

Originally published on The Villanovan.

The Wildcats continue to struggle on the baseball diamond, losing six games in a row, all in Big East play, dropping their record to 0-6 within the conference. In their first home series of Big East play, the ‘Cats got swept by the 10-13 Seton Hall Pirates (3-1 Big East), 1-0, 13-2 and 4-1.

Game one had ace junior starting pitcher Gordon Graceffo on the mound for Nova.

 

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Villanova Baseball Swept in Big East Opener

Villanova Baseball

By Matthew Ryan, Sports Talk Philly Contributor

Originally published in The Villanovan.

Coming into their series against the 6-7 Creighton Bluejays, the Wildcats were on a 12-game win streak and were ranked No. 2 in the NCAA Division I RPI (rating percentage index) rankings. The RPI rankings take into account a team's winning percentage, strength of schedule and opponents’ strength of schedule.

Villanova's first series of Big East play did not go well, as the ‘Cats were defeated in all three games, 9-2, 10-0 (8 innings) and 8-0. This was the Wildcats’ first series loss since their opening series.

 

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Villanova Baseball Sweeps St. Joe's, On 12 Game Winning Streak

Villanova Baseball

By Matthew Ryan, Sports Talk Philly Contributor

Originally published in The Villanovan.

Last week, the ‘Cats played a three-game series on the road against St. Joe’s, which they swept, 8-7, 16-5 and 8-2. Nova has been on a tear ever since getting swept in its opening series, winning its last 12 games, giving it the longest winning streak since 1989.

Game one of the series on Thursday had freshman Devin Rivera on the mound for the ‘Cats, making this his first collegiate start.

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Villanova Baseball Wins Two Against Delaware

Villanova Baseball

By Matthew Ryan, Sports Talk Philly Contributor

Originally published in The Villanovan

The Villanova baseball team faced off against Delaware on Saturday and Sunday and swept the Blue Hens, 6-5 and 11-10, improving its record to 4-2.

The ‘Cats, who were the home team for game one, started hot with senior Chris Rotondo leading off the bottom of the first inning with a double and freshman Cameron Hassert doubling in the next at-bat, scoring Rotondo.

Hassert advanced to third on a groundout by sophomore Jack O’Reilly and in the next at-bat crossed home thanks to a groundout by graduate student Ryan Toohers, which gave the ‘Cats a 2-0 lead after the first inning.

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Halftime Report: Washington at Eagles

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By Matt Ryan, Sports Talk Philly Contributor

The 6-9 Washington Football Team visits the 4-10-1 Eagles in the final game of the regular season. The Eagles are eliminated from playoff contention, but they look to play spoiler to Washington. The Eagles have played well, but trail 17-14 at the break. Here's what we saw in the first 30 minutes of action:


First Half Offensive MVP

QB Jalen Hurts

Hurts had a solid first half, finishing with 65 passing yards and rushing for 27 yards and two touchdowns, however, Hurts did throw one interception. If Hurts can continue this play in the second half, the Birds should be able to win this game and eliminate the Washingtion Football Team from playoff contention.


First Half Defensive MVP

LB Alex Singleton

Singleton had an amazing first half, finishing with 10 tackles, eight of them being solo tackles, and one being a sack which was on third down.


Who Needs To Step Up

The Eagles Secondary

The Eagles Secondary didn’t have a good first half, giving up 118 yards and two touchdowns. The Birds’ secondary needs to play better in the final 30 minutes for the Eagles to come away from this game with a win.


Who To Watch Out For

DE Chase Young

Young had a decent first half, finishing with one tackle, which was a sack. The Eagles need to watch out for Young in the final two quarters.


Halftime Report: Eagles at Cowboys

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By Matt Ryan, Sports Talk Philly Contributor

The 4-9-1 Eagles visit the 5-9 Cowboys in a week 16 matchup. Both the Eagles and the Cowboys need to win this game and need the Washington Football team to lose to keep their playoff hopes alive. The Cowboys lead the Ealges 20-17 at the half. Here's what we saw in the first 30 minutes of action:


First Half Offensive MVP

QB Jalen Hurts

Jalen Hurts had a nice first half, throwing for 178 yards including a 81-yard touchdown and rushing for 53 yards. If Hurts can continue this in the second half, the Birds have a good shot at coming away from this game with a win.


First Half Defensive MVP

DE Vinny Curry

Curry had a huge sack in the Red zone on the Cowboys opening drive, and that drive would end with the Cowboys making a field goal. Curry finshed the half with one tackle and two QB hits.


Who Needs To Step Up

The Eagles Secondary

The Eagles secondary did not have a good first half, giving up 224 yards and two touchdowns. The Eagles secondary needs to step up in the second half of this game for the Eagles to have a shot at winning this game.


Who To Watch Out For

WR Michael Gallup

Gallup had an amazing first half for the Cowboys, catching six balls for 121 yards and two touchdowns. The Birds will need to contain Gallup in the second half to come away from this game with a win.


Halftime Report: Eagles at Cardinals

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By Matt Ryan, Sports Talk Philly Contributor

The 4-8-1 Eagles visit the 7-6 Cardinals in a battle of the birds. The Eagles started off slow, trailing at one point 16-0, but they were able to come back and only trail 20-26 at the half. Here's what we saw in the first 30 minutes of action:


First Half Offensive MVP

QB Jalen Hurts

Hurts had a great first half, throwing for three touchdowns and 177 yards, and rushed for 21 yards. If Hurts can keep this level of play up, the Eagles have a real shot at coming back in this game and keeping their playoff hopes alive.


First Half Defensive MVP

CB Michael Jacquet

Jacquet made a huge play for the birds, forcing a fumble in the red zone. Jacquet also wrapped up Cardinals Quarterback Kyler Murray and Eagles CB, Nickell Robey-Coleman punched the ball free, forcing a turnover. Jacquet was involved in two turnovers in the first 30 minutes of the game and finished the half with three tackles and half of a sack.


Who Needs To Step Up

The Eagles Pass Defense

The Eagles pass defense did not have a good first half, giving up 256 passing yards. If the Eagles want to come away from this game with the win, the birds pass defense needs to be better in the second half.


Who To Watch Out For

WR Deandre Hopkins

Hopkins had a solid first half, catching four passes for 71 yards. With the Eagles secondary banged up, they will need to watch out for one of the league best receivers in the second half.